USS Draco (AK-79)
USS Draco (AK-79), Puget Sound, August 1945
|Ordered:||as a Type EC2-S-C1 hull, MCE hull 453|
|Builder:||Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California|
|Laid down:||15 December 1942|
|Launched:||19 January 1943|
|Sponsored by:||Miss Gayle Marie Sanfacon|
|Acquired:||31 January 1943|
|Commissioned:||16 February 1943|
|Decommissioned:||28 November 1945|
|Struck:||19 December 1945|
|2 × battle stars|
|Fate:||Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, Virginia, 28 November 1945|
|Status:||Sold for commercial use, 9 August 1947|
|Union of South Africa|
|Owner:||Southern Steamship Proprietary, Ltd., Johannesburg|
|Acquired:||9 August 1947|
|Status:||scrapped April 1968|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||Crater-class cargo ship|
|Length:||441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)|
|Beam:||56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)|
|Draft:||28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)|
|Speed:||12.5 kn (14.4 mph; 23.2 km/h)|
USS Draco (AK-79) was an Crater-class cargo ship commissioned by the US Navy for service in World War II. Named after the constellation Draco. She was responsible for delivering goods and equipment to locations in the war zone.
Draco was laid down 15 December 1942, as SS John M. Palmer, MCE hull 453, by Permanente Metals Corporation, Yard No. 2, Richmond, California, under a Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract; launched 19 January 1943, and sponsored by Miss Gayle Marie Sanfacon. She was transferred to the Navy 31 January 1943; and commissioned 16 February 1943, Lieutenant Commander Earle L. Evey, USNR, in command.
Draco towed YFD-21 from Seattle, Washington, by way of Pearl Harbor to Espiritu Santo, arriving 5 May 1943. She carried cargo from Auckland, New Zealand, to bases on Nouméa, Espiritu Santo, Guadalcanal, and the Fiji Islands, and acted in support of the consolidation of the Solomons, the invasions of Cape Torokina, Bougainville, and Emirau. From 27 July to 10 August 1944 she unloaded cargo at Guam in the capture and occupation of that island, then returned to cargo runs between New Zealand and the Solomons until arriving at Ulithi 26 May 1945.
Draco sailed from Ulithi 20 June 1945, for Okinawa, where she discharged Army supplies from 26 June to 12 July. Sailing by way of Guadalcanal to load salvaged equipment and vehicles, Draco arrived at Tacoma, Washington, 27 August 1945.
Draco was decommissioned 28 November 1945, and returned to MARCOM for disposal the same day. She entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group, Lee Hall, Virginia, 28 November 1945.
On 9 August 1947, she was sold to the South African company, Southern Steamship Proprietary, Ltd., and renamed President Kruger. She was again sold in 1951, and renamed Riviera. In 1953, she was sold and renamed Effie. She was renamed President Pretorius in 1958, and finally sold in April 1968, to be scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
- "Draco". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 17 December 2016. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- "Kaiser Permanente No. 2, Richmond CA". www.ShipbuildingHistory.com. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- "USS Draco (AK-79)". Navsource.org. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- "JOHN M. PALMER". United States Department of Transportation. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- "SS John M. Palmer". Retrieved 15 December 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to USS Draco (AK-79).|
- Photo gallery of USS Draco (AK-79) at NavSource Naval History